aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

What? Did you think best-sellers just happened?

Sometimes you'll hear authors debate the pros and cons of a huge advance versus the risk that you will never earn out. [Full disclosure: like we ever actually get to pick.] But one good thing about getting a huge advance is that the publisher has more at stake in helping the book be a success. Such as buying attention at chain bookstores.

Next time you're in a chain store, look at everything that's featured. What would be interesting would be knowing how much publishers had to "pay to play" for each book you see singled out. Publishers Lunch reports that the big English bookstore, Waterstone's, ptiched the terms for the Christmas season.

The six top slots are going for 45,000 pounds; about 45 titles will qualify for the 25,000-pound front-of-store promotion; while being a
"paperback of the year" costs just 7,000.

In England, at least, the Times says, "At Borders, bookshop staff vote to decide the book of the month, while schools are polled to find the children’s book of the month. But the publishers still have to pay an undisclosed fee for the chosen book to be awarded the accolade."

Anthony Cheetham of Quercus told the London Times about Stef Penney's award-winning The Tenderness of Wolves, "We are currently trying to decide whether we feel strong enough to say no and see what happens with that book if we don't pay. It's difficult, the only publisher who is in a strong position [to negotiate with booksellers on this] is Bloomsbury, the proud owners of H. Potter Esq."

Read more about how bestellers are made here.

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